Student working in a lab

Prospective students

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of the living world. Biochemists study organisms at the molecular level in order to understand how they carry out life processes. In laboratory experiments, the biochemist separates substances isolated from living cells and determines their chemical structures and properties. Then these substances are put back together under controlled conditions to find out how they interact.

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Why is Biochemistry in the College of Ag?

Explores the basic molecular processes underpinning all life. Consequently, a degree in biochemistry prepares you to contribute to a variety of disciplines including medicine (human or animal), pharmacy, agriculture, and all other life-science fields. In Land Grant Universities like Purdue, Wisconsin, University of Missouri, etc., biochemistry is usually found in the College of Agriculture for historical reasons: the field of biochemistry grew out of research on agricultural problems, and since Land Grant Universities were the institutions with agriculture, departments of biochemistry were situated in those colleges.

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The Biochemistry Department awards scholarships annually to continuing undergraduate students in the department from several scholarship funds. Additionally, our students qualify for various scholarships at the College and University levels. Over 40% of our students are currently receiving scholarships from the College.

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A degree in biochemistry provides an excellent foundation for professional success in a wide variety of disciplines. Many of our graduates go on to obtain professional degrees from medical schools or veterinary schools, which highly value the molecular expertise provided by biochemistry coursework. Other graduates pursue further degrees such as a Masters or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) to be competitive for specialized careers in industry or to teach and/or do research in an academic setting such as a university. Another popular option for our graduates is to immediately accept a job in the industry. 

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The Purdue Biochemistry Club meets every two weeks to explore various aspects of the field through visiting speakers from a variety of backgrounds. Past speakers have included Purdue professors, graduate students, doctors, biochemists who work in industry, and many others!

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Find science program opportunities available for undergraduate research experiences.    

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Karlie Tischendorf
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Contact Us 

Department of Biochemistry
Purdue University
175 South University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2063
Fax: 765-494-7897​